CIP adds NT$150m to partner to boost local wind power

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Oct 30, 2018 - Page 12

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) yesterday added NT$150 million (US$4.84 million) in investments to help its supplier increase local content in offshore wind projects.

Offshore wind developers and local partners have been shouldering the high initial costs of building a brand-new industry in Taiwan and the investment is needed to advance the project, CI Wind Power Development Taiwan Co Ltd chief operating officer Jesper Krarup Holst said at a news conference.

The additional investment would help address mounting costs at MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, its supplier and the world’s second-biggest offshore wind turbine firm, which has been tasked with fast-tracking localization of wind turbine towers, Holst said.

The investment is outside of CIP and MHI’s partnership terms, Holst said.

CIP and MHI are expected to provide 100 megawatts (MW) in offshore wind capacity by 2021, but their efforts have been challenged by mounting costs.

To locally manufacture the 11 wind turbine towers required to meet 2021 targets, MHI partner Chin Fong Machine Industrial Co (金豐機器工業) would need financial backing to expand its manufacturing capacity, MHI cochief executive officer Lars Bondo Krogsgaard said.

Costs run higher when the scale of factory orders is small, and greater commitment and visibility of orders from the government would help the industry get off the ground, Korgsgaard said.

“CIP advocates that next year’s feed-in tariff remain at the same level as this year at NT$5.8 per kilowatt-hour,” said Holst, who oversaw the completion of offshore wind projects in England.

It can take 10 to 15 years to build up a local supply chain, he said.

The British government maintained a favorable business environment by keeping the per-unit feed-in tariff at such levels for about a decade, he said.

Taiwan remains a regional leader in offshore wind energy and is expected to outpace England in the industry, Holst said.